These Vegan, Gluten-Free Cookies Deserve a Spot In Your Holiday Cookie Exchange

Move over, gingerbread. These vegan, gluten-free cookies are going to be the star treat of the holiday season.

vegan, gluten-free cookies: pistachio butter thumbprints with raspberry-chia filling
Photo: Caitlin Bensel

With so many allergies and dietary preferences these days, you need to make sure you've got a treat for everyone in your cookie exchange group. And thankfully, these vegan, gluten-free cookies are sure to be a crowdpleaser.

Not only do these festive plant-based treats hold their own in a holiday dessert spread, but they're also anything but traditional. "They have beauty and health benefits, too," says Shape Brain Trust member Lindsay Maitland Hunt, author of the cookbook Help Yourself: A Guide to Gut Health for People Who Love Delicious Food (Buy It, $26,

She created the protein- and fiber-rich cookies using flaxseeds, chia seeds, and oats, nixing the dairy, gluten, and eggs in the process to achieve the perfect texture and delicious taste. Remember to bake two batches of this vegan, gluten-free cookie recipe — you know you'll want to eat some too. (

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Help Yourself: A Guide to Gut Health for People Who Love Delicious Food

Help Yourself: A Guide to Gut Health for People Who Love Delicious Food

Vegan, Gluten-Free Pistachio Thumbprints with Raspberry-Chia Filling

Makes: 16 cookies


For the vegan, gluten-free cookie:

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cups pistachios (6 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 cup packed quick-cooking oats
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or other fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the jam filling:

  • 1/3 cup raspberry jam (100 percent fruit, no sugar added)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (white ones are pretty here)


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Mix the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
  2. Chop the pistachios in a food processor until finely ground with just some small chunks remaining. Pull out 1/4 cup pistachios, and smooth into a single layer on a plate. Set the plate aside.
  3. Add the oats, coconut sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, salt, and cardamom to the food processor, and process until finely ground. Add the flaxseed mixture, and pulse until dough is thick.
  4. Divide the dough into 16 heaping tablespoon-size balls, and roll them in the reserved pistachios to coat, pressing so the nuts stick to the dough. Then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten each ball into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Use a round 1/2-teaspoon measuring spoon to press a divot into the center of each disk.
  5. Stir the jam and chia seeds together, then divide the filling evenly among the divots in the cookies.
  6. Bake until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and the filling is set, 14 to 18 minutes (rotating the baking sheet halfway through). Let the cookies cool to room temperature before eating.

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

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